Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed the announcement of a national chickpea breeding program to be based in Tamworth.
Launched under the banner, Chickpea Breeding Australia, the program is a $30 million, five-year research collaboration between the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the NSW Government.
“This is yet another win for further investment and decentralisation to the New England,” Mr Joyce said.
“It will drive growth and encourage industry partners to follow suit and also establish their operations here in Tamworth.
“The Australian Government is providing support through its investment in the GRDC and grain growers across the country.”
A new $2.5 million world-class glasshouse and controlled environment room facility has also been unveiled in Tamworth. This state-of-the-art facility will be the headquarters for Chickpea Breeding Australia.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Australian Government’s investment in GRDC is delivering for chickpea growers, and that the new chickpea breeding program would boost chickpea production value and offer greater opportunities for export producers.
“Chickpea Breeding Australia will help expand development of new chickpea varieties in existing and new production areas,” Minister Littleproud said.
“This investment will deliver more trial plots across the country, meaning the expansion of chickpea growing regions across Australia.
“The research aims to increase yield, quality and disease resistance of chickpea varieties.
“Chickpea production is forecast to reach 708,000 tonnes in 2020-21, an increase of 152 per cent on the previous year. This equates to a forecast gross production value of $580 million in 2020-21.
“The value of chickpea exports for 2020-21 is forecast to reach $590 million, up from $306 million in 2019-20.”